1. Make copies of all financial records.

It’s very important to have an accurate picture of all your assets and debts. You’ll need to know all bank accounts, savings accounts, loan accounts, credit accounts, tax returns, etc. as all of these will need to be divided in your divorce. Having copies made before you actually separate from your spouse will save you the trouble of trying to track records down later.

    1. Obtain a credit report.

A credit report is a useful tool in a divorce, it helps you to ascertain all the debts associated with your credit score. If your credit score is tied to your soon to be ex-spouse, a credit report will help to provide a clear picture of your current financial status and will identify any problem areas. It may also potential reveal loans or lines of credit that you did not realize were opened in your name during your marriage.

    1. Get your own accounts.

You will need your own accounts once the divorce is finalized anyway and your own accounts will give you freedom and peace of mind during the pendency of your divorce. In a community property state such as Texas all assets and debts are still considered community property, but having your own account allows you to handle your own bills during the divorce and prevents your soon to be ex from control over your money.

    1. Get your debt under control.

Divorce is an expensive process as it is. Reducing your debt will increase your potential credit line in the wake of a divorce as well as lessen your bills you will be responsible for with only your income after a divorce.

    1. Start a budget.

A divorce forces most people to live on one income when they are accustomed to living on two incomes. Establishing a budget will help you live within your means and make the transition from two incomes to one income more manageable. Make sure to be reasonable; you want to live within your means, not incur additional debts during the divorce process.

The Texas Family Code has a provision related to taking a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course. While the provision does not mandate the taking of one of these courses, many of the family law courts in Harris County do require the completion of one of these courses.

These courses are typically four hours long and are designed to educate parents to the consequences of divorce or custody battles on children. Pursuant to Texas Family Code Section 105.009, the course must include information on the following issues:

  1. the emotional effects of divorce on parents;
  2. the emotional and behavioral reactions to divorce by young children and adolescents;
  3. parenting issues relating to the concerns and needs of children at different development stages;
  4. stress indicators in young children and adolescents;
  5. conflict management;
  6. family stabilization through development of a coparenting relationship;
  7. the financial responsibilities of parenting;
  8. family violence, spousal abuse, and child abuse and neglect;  and
  9. the availability of community services and resources.

Some judges in Harris County will not approve a final decree of divorce or final modification order unless both parents have completed a parenting class (Online or In Person) and filed a completion certificate with the court. So while you may believe your parenting skills are superb and the class is not applicable to you, it is a requirement to finalize any pending family law cases.

CRITICAL NOTE:  There is one Harris county court that will switch custody if the primary parent has not completed the parenting course.  Furthermore, if neither parent has completed a parenting course this court has been known to have CPS take custody of the children.

Please contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC if you have questions about court approved parenting classes or would like more information.

    1. Social Networking Sites

Studies have shown that social networking sites, specifically Facebook, are a contributing factor to infidelity. Facebook allows for affairs to blossom; reconnecting old flames or allowing a person to become friends with someone they met in passing. If your spouse is spending a lot of time on social networking sites or is being secretive about their online activities, it may be a sign that they are engaging in an affair.

    1. Cell Phone Habits

Your spouse may all of a sudden add a password or lock code to their cell phone to prevent you being able to check their calls or read messages. They may also keep the phone on silent or refuse to answer calls or texts in your presence. A sudden change in cell phone habits may be an indicator that your spouse is communicating with someone they don’t want you to know about.

    1. Spending Habits

Has your spouse suddenly been more secretive about their spending habits? An increase in spending habits, changing the location as to where the bills or credit card statements are directed or preventing your from accessing online billing statements may all be signs pointing that your spouse wants to prevent you from monitoring their spending.

    1. Change in Work Schedule or Hours

A sudden increase in hours spent at work or traveling for work can be an indicator that your spouse is using work as a cover for time spent with a paramour. Work is a convenient cover for a cheater and a sudden change in schedule may be cause for concern. Checking your spouse’s paycheck for overtime hours is a simple way to verify that your spouse actually is working overtime and nothing suspicious is going on.

    1.  Disappearing Acts or Secretive About Schedule

Are you unable to reach your spouse on the phone or at work? Are they evasive when asked where they were or why they didn’t answer the phone? If your spouse is suddenly unavailable or can’t explain the periods of time they’ve disappeared, they may be spending that time with another person. If they get defensive about their activities, it may be cause for concern.

If you believe your spouse is cheating, please contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC so we can discuss your options.

The system update process to Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.1, 4.1.2 and 4.3) is fairly straight forward and depending on your network speed can be completed in under half an hour.

Caution: Before upgrading your phone it is always recommended that you backup your data.

To update your Galaxy S3 phone to Android 4.1.1, 4.1.2 and 4.3:

  1. Click on the “Menu” (left) button and Select “Settings” from the popup menu
  2. Click on “Application Manager”
  3. Select the “All” view to see all running applications
  4. Click on “Google Services Framework”
  5. Click the “Clear Data” button
  6. Click the “Force Stop” button
  7. Open “Menu>Settings” again
  8. Click on the “System Update” option
  9. Click on the “Update Samsung Software”

BAAM it’s done! In a little under a half hour you will have the 348MB (4.1.1)/157.6MB (4.1.2)/~500MB (4.3) download and it will automatically install after a reboot.

Disclaimer: Use at your own risk.

A common misconception in the arena of Texas family law is that conservatorship and custody are the same thing. In the state of Texas, conservatorship is the designation as to which parent has the right to make certain decisions and exercise certain duties.

A parent designated as sole managing conservator has all exclusive rights regarding the children and does not share them with the other parent.  These rights and duties are set out in section 153.132 of the Texas Family Code. The other parent is designated as the possessory conservator with limited rights but still may exercise possession and visitation with the children.

In Texas there is a presumption that parents shall be appointed as joint managing conservators of a child. Most divorces or custody suits result in parents being named as joint managing conservators. The presumption of joint managing conservatorship may be rebutted with facts showing that the child’s emotional and physical well being would be impaired by the appointment of the parents as joint managing conservators. This is often evidenced by documented neglect or abuse. A parent who has been granted a protective order against the other parent due to domestic or familial violence is entitled to be appointed sole managing conservator.

In today’s economic times, divorce and bankruptcy often go hand in hand. It’s important to know what role bankruptcy can play in a pending divorce suit.

You may be able to file for divorce while you have a pending bankruptcy filing and the court may render judgment on issues such as child support or conservatorship issues. Many courts will not award property while your bankruptcy is still pending and your divorce may not be finalized until the bankruptcy has been discharged.

If the court does allow your divorce to be finalized, bankruptcy can have an effect on the property and debts that were awarded in the final decree of divorce. Obligations entered into in a divorce settlement are considered non-dischargeable, which means they may not be discharged in a later bankruptcy filing.  And while creditors can’t come after you for payment after you’ve filed for bankruptcy, they can go after your ex-spouse for payment for any community debts. That opens you up to financial liability to your ex-spouse even after your divorce is finalized.

The complexity involved in a joint divorce and bankruptcy make it imperative that you are represented by an attorney who is experienced in divorces involving bankruptcy. Please contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC if you are interested in consulting with an attorney and obtaining more information.

Featured Image

Parental custody of a child who doesn’t want it creates a difficult position for everyone involved. As a custodial parent, it’s your responsibility to foster a relationship between your child and their father even if your relationship with their father is strained. But as you surely know, it can be difficult to convince a child or teenager to do anything they do not want to do. It will be you, the parent, who faces repercussions for your child’s refusal to visit with a parent who has child custody rights.

Potential Repercussions

As a custodial parent, you can be found in contempt for failure to comply with the court’s visitation order. Parents found in contempt may be forced to pay fines, attorney’s fees, and can face up to six months in jail per violation. Family law judges do not take kindly to parents being unable to visit with their children and a finding of contempt reflects very badly on you as a parent in any future litigation involving the child. Learn more about Texas child custody laws for a better understanding of potential risks.

You can’t physically make a teenager get into a vehicle and you probably don’t want visitation to be a point of contention in your relationship with your child, but you need to remember that you are the adult and visitation is not up to the child. The judge won’t punish the child for their refusal to visit with a parent with child custody rights, those repercussions will come down on you.

Finding a Solution

So what can you do? If you have a decent relationship with your ex, it can be helpful to present a united front to your child. If you do not have a relationship with your ex, it’s important to stress to your child that both parents are a part of their life and that their refusal to visit with the other parent opens you up to liability for their actions according to Texas child custody laws.

A Resource for Additional Help

The experienced attorneys of the Ramos Law Group practice family law exclusively. They can help you navigate the most difficult aspects of child custody rights to the most beneficial arrangement for your family. If you are having issues with your current custody arrangement or have further questions, please contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC.

Scroll to top